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In the streaming era, the success of movies that go straight home can often feel like a shot in the dark from our standpoint. That is, except when movies perform especially well, like Pet Sematary: Bloodlines just did. It’s been exactly a month since the prequel to the 2019 Stephen King adaptation became available to see with a Paramount+ subscription, and as the streamer just announced, it broke a huge record during 2023’s spooky season.
Pet Sematary: Bloodlines now holds the title of the most-watched original movie on Paramount+ ever in the span of its first 30 days, following its October 6 exclusive premiere. The horror movie even claimed the honor away from Teen Wolf: The Movie after just three weeks of release, per The Wrap. It’s too bad the movie has generally been getting the thumbs down from viewers.
Prior to the movie’s release, Stephen King, the “King of Horror” and the author behind the original Pet Sematary novel, a book of his he reportedly hates, announced his praise for Bloodlines calling it a “fine story” along with applauding David Duchovny’s performance and the movie’s attention to “caring about the characters.” However, most critics were not a fan of the Pet Sematary prequel, with the San Francisco Chronicle, for example, calling it “second-rate King movie material,” and Mashable writing that it “feels like something that died, was buried, and then resurrected worse off than before.” Yikes!
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General audiences haven’t been loving it either. The movie has an average rating of 2.0 out of 5 on Letterboxd and a 49% on Rotten Tomatoes’ “Audience Score,” clearly leaving people divided on the movie. For spooky season, Paramount+ has a small, but killer list of horror movies for subscribers. Between having multiple Scream movies, the 2022 hit Smile, World War Z and 2019’s Pet Sematary, there are a few good options for those looking for a movie to get in the mood for Halloween. But Bloodlines surely benefitted from being a brand new movie for the service with King’s memorable title at the front.
The movie that previously held the Paramount+ record, similarly disappointed viewers. Teen Wolf: The Movie, which came out early this year, followed a popular MTV series of the same name and brought back many of the actors from the show. However, it suffered a low rating from critics overall as well, and many fans slammed the movie for its plot decisions.
The cast of Pet Sematary: Bloodlines certainly benefited interest from audiences, between The X-Files’ David Duchovny and the Flanaverse’s Henry Thomas being part of the film. If you haven’t already, you can check out the movie on the platform now and look forward to Paramount+'s next high-profile movie release, Good Burger 2, coming on November 22.